Monday, March 19, 2018

Daily Thought For March 19, 2018

Practicing Works Of Mercy
   Imitating Jesus in his merciful compassion for those in need can often mean giving support and company to the lonely, to the sick, to people who suffer a shameful or barefaced poverty. We try to share their pain and help them sanctify it, as well as trying to remedy their situation as far as we can. Think of how consoling it can be for such a person to have a spell of company, made possible perhaps by sacrificing a bit of free time we may have been looking forward to enjoying. Our simple and friendly conversation with some sick or old person, which should never lack a certain supernatural tone — some uplifting news about the apostolate, maybe — leaves them with a little more faith and confidence in God. Tactfully and helpfully, we can offer them some little service, making their bed perhaps, or reading them part of some agreeable or possibly even amusing spiritual book.
     Every day it is getting more and more necessary to ask God to give us a merciful heart towards all, because as society becomes more dehumanized men's hearts are becoming harder and more insensitive. Justice is a fundamental virtue, it is true, but justice of itself is not enough: charity is needed too. No matter how much social legislation and working conditions improve, men will always need the warmth of a human heart, fraternal and friendly, which is able to identify with those situations that justice alone cannot remedy, because Christian charity cannot be limited to giving things or money to the needy. It seeks, above all, to respect and understand each person for what he is, in his intrinsic dignity as a man and a child of God.
     Mercy should cause us to forgive promptly and from the heart, even though the other party isn't sorry for what has happened or rebuffs our attempts to make up. The Christian cannot harbor any resentment in his heart; he is not at loggerheads with anybody. We have to love also those who are unhappy through their own fault, or even through their own evil actions. The only question God asks us is if that person is unhappy, if he is suffering, because that is enough to make him worth your interest. Try, of course, to protect him from his evil passions, but the moment he suffers, be merciful. 'You shall love your neighbor, not when he deserves it, but because he is your neighbor.'
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 4 pp. 522-524

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Daily Thought For March 18, 2018

Surprises In Heaven
     I have often thought that perhaps I owe all the graces with which I have been blessed to some little soul whom I shall know only in heaven.
     Some time ago, I was watching the almost imperceptible flicker of a tiny night light. One of the sisters came up and, having lit her own candle in the dying flame, passed it round to light the candles of the others, and the thought came to me: Who dares glory in her own works? 
     Just one such faint spark can set the whole world on fire. We are so aware of the bright light of the saints set high on the church’s candlestick, and we think we are receiving from them grace and light. But from whence do they borrow their fire? Very possibly from the prayers of some devout and hidden soul whose inward light is not apparent to human eyes, some soul of unrecognized virtue, and in her own sight, of little worth—a dying flame!
     What mysteries shall we one day see revealed! For it is God’s will that here below, we shall give to one another the heavenly treasures with which our Father has enriched us. 

from Simply Surrender Based on the Little Way of Thérèse of Lisieux

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Daily Thought For March 17, 2018

God Always Offers A Helping Hand

Peter stayed on his feet - even when facing the greatest difficulties - as long as he acted with supernatural outlook, with faith, with confidence in the Lord. Later, in order to stay afloat, to receive God's help, he had to cooperate, because when our cooperation is lacking divine help also ceases. It was our Lord who helped him to go on. 

Peter recovered his faith and confidence in Jesus. He climbed aboard the boat with him, and at that moment the wind ceased and calm was restored to the seas and to the hearts of the disciples. They recognized Jesus as their Lord and God. Those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, Truly, you are the Son of God. 
The experience of our personal weakness will serve for us to find Jesus who puts out his hand and enters our heart, giving us great peace in the midst of any trial. We should learn never to be afraid of God, who presents himself in ordinary things, as well as in the physical or moral sufferings we may experience in our lives. Have confidence; it is I, do not fear. God never delays coming to our rescue, and never fails to remedy every need. He arrives — at times in a hidden and mysterious way — at the opportune time. And when, for whatever reason, we find ourselves in a difficult situation — with the wind against us — He comes close to us. He may pass as if to continue on so that we will call out to him, but He will not delay in coming to our side when we do. 

If at times we realize that we are out of our depth, that we are sinking, we should repeat with Peter, Lord, save me! We should neither doubt his Love nor his merciful hand. We should not forget that God does not demand the impossible. Instead, when He makes a request, He asks that we do what we can do, that we ask for what we cannot do and for his help to carry it out.  

What certainty our Lord gives us! He has guaranteed his protection. I do not depend on my own strength. I have in my hands his written word. This is my strength, my certainty, my tranquil haven. Even if the entire world is shaken, I read the written word I carry with me, for it is my fortress, my defense. And what does this word tell me? 'I will be with you until the end of the world, ' it says. 

Christ is with me. What shall I fear? Let the waves of the sea and the fury of the powerful come upon me. That will not weigh me down any more than a spider's web. Let us not let go of his hand. He does not let go of ours. 

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 4 pp. 337-338

Friday, March 16, 2018

Daily Thought For March 16, 2018

Apply The Brakes! The Need For Holy Leisure

     Have you ever found yourself wishing for a big snowstorm that would shut everything down for a few days? Sure, snow can give rise to any number of headaches. But at the same time, snow days can force us into slowing our life's pace a little bit. When work, school, and activities are canceled (and possibly the Internet is down too), we receive a gift of time during which we can play board games, bake treats, reconnect with one another, curl up with a good book, and take a much needed "breather." 
     Taking breathers is not something we Americans are especially good at doing. Surveys reveal that we spend more time on the job than workers in almost every other nation. Our children's lives are typically overbooked as well, their days being filled with sports practices, music and dance lessons, club activities, and increasing amounts of homework. 
     All sorts of negative consequences can arise from excessive activity. We become candidates for burnout and place' ourselves at risk for stress and the related problems of eating disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, depression, drug and alcohol abuse-even suicide! We rob ourselves of opportunities to daydream, reflect, and have fun. Parents don't spend time enjoying their children and passing along their values and adult wisdom. Friends and spouses don't communicate with one another as they should. And we deprive ourselves of the sleep we need, making us crabby, less productive on the job, vulnerable to illness, and dangerous behind the wheel. Giraffes may sleep only thirty minutes a day. We, however, need at least seven or eight hours of restful sleep. 
     Excessive activity can compromise our spiritual life as well, as Jesus himself cautions us. "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy," he warned, "from ... the anxieties of daily life" (Lk 21:34). When he spoke these words, he was referring to his coming again in glory at the end of time. He didn't want his listeners to be so distracted and busy that they wouldn't be prepared to greet him when he came. But his words are intended for us too. He knows that frenzied activity can produce a flimsy faith, and he longs for us to recognize him when he comes into our lives today. 
     Jesus invites us to slow down, just as he encouraged his disciples to slow down. Once, the disciples had come back together after having been away on missionary journeys, and they surely must have been exhausted. We can also imagine that they wanted to swap tales and share their experiences with each other. Yet so many people were pressing in to speak with Jesus, and with them, that they couldn't find an opportunity to rest and reconnect. And so Jesus, recognizing the disciples' need, invited them to get away from the crowds and spend some time together in a deserted place (sec Mk 6:30-32). 
     The challenge for us is this: If Jesus thought it important to rest and spend quality time with those he loved, shouldn't we do the same? In other words, if as Christians we are to live in imitation of Jesus, then we need to make time for family, friends, and refreshment. The earliest Christians knew this. Their leaders, such as Saint Augustine, emphasized the need for Otium Sanctum, Latin for "holy leisure," which we might understand as slowing down by stepping back from work, not in order to waste time, but use it to nourish our relationships with God and others. 
     We need "holy leisure" because we all can benefit from a measure of balance in our lives. In fact, this is such an important topic that our Church has stressed, in its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, that leisure is necessary to foster "familial, cultural, social, and religious life." Elsewhere, this same document hopes: "May this leisure be used properly to relax, to fortify the health of soul and body through spontaneous study and activity." Understood this way, leisure time is not wasted time, a conclusion sometimes made in our productivity-obsessed world. Instead, leisure allows us to fulfill our need to spend time with ourselves, spend time with each other, and spend time with the Lord. 
     For the health of our bodies and souls, let's find time for leisure time. Let's gather around our tables and share our stories with each other. Let's open a book or watch a movie that might stretch our minds or soften our hearts. Let's exercise and get the blood really flowing through our veins. Take a good hard look at your commitments and obligations and consider cutting out a few things. Reach out and touch that person you've been meaning to call for so long. Stare at the clouds and dream dreams. Rediscover an old hobby or take up a new one. Play with your kids. Take a mental health day. Take a nap. Say a prayer. 
     Scripture shares that God himself rested after having created the heavens and the earth (Gn 2:2). In the Ten Commandments, God actually insists that we rest like he did, on the Sabbath day, which for us is Sunday. If we truly honored that, we'd enjoy the equivalent of nearly seven weeks of vacation each year! 
     It's claimed that psychologist Carl Jung concluded that hurry isn't of the devil―it is the devil. So if it's the devil we're looking for, by all means, let's speed things up! But if it's God we're seeking, then for heaven's sake, let's slow things down. 

from When Faith Feels Fragile―Help for the Wary, Weak, and Wandering by R. Scott Hurd pp.131-134

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Daily Thought For March 15, 2018

Deliverance From A False Inferiority

God has given different gifts to different people. There is no basis for feeling inferior to another who has a different gift. Once it is realized that we shall be judged by the gift we have received, rather than the gift we have not, one is completely delivered from a false sense of inferiority.

Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Daily Thought For March 14, 2018

Thank You, Lord, for all Your gifts of love, especially for those we often overlook. 
Thank You for friends; 
they increase our love for You. 
Thank You for enemies; 
they increase our tolerance. 
Thank You for joys and happiness; they strengthen our faith in You. 
Thank You for trials and tribulations; 
they strengthen our trust and perseverance. 
Thank You for times when all goes well; they teach us serenity. 
Thank You for days when things are rough; they teach us patience. 
Thank You for our successes; they increase our confidence. 
Thank You for our failures; they increase our humility. 
Thank You, Lord, for the "ups" and "downs" of life. 
Thank You, Lord, for the precious gift of life itself. 
Comfort us when we are disturbed; 
disturb us when we become too comfortable. 
Thank You, Lord, for being by our side. Amen. 
from Our Lady of Fatima — Book of Prayers pp.222-223

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Daily Thought For March 13, 2018

A Prayer For Peace of Mind

Fortify me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit and give Your peace to my soul that I may be free from all needless anxiety, solicitude and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You so that Your will may be my will.

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Monday, March 12, 2018

Daily Thought For March 12, 2018

 It's Time For An Extreme Makeover In The Church
As happens with certain old buildings. Over the centuries, to adapt to the needs of the moment, they become filled with partitions, staircases, rooms and closets. The time comes when we realize that all these adjustments no longer meet the current needs, but rather are an obstacle, so we must have the courage to knock them down and return the building to the simplicity and linearity of its origins. This was the mission that was received one day by a man who prayed before the Crucifix of San Damiano: “Go, Francis, and repair my Church”.
“Who could ever be up to this task?” wondered aghast the Apostle before the superhuman task of being in the world “the fragrance of Christ”; and here is his reply, that still applies today: “We’re not ourselves able to think something as if it came from us; our ability comes from God. He has made us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; because the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”(2 Cor 2:16; 3:5-6).
May the Holy Spirit, in this moment in which a new time is opening for the Church, full of hope, reawaken in men who are at the window the expectancy of the message, and in the messengers the will to make it reach them, even at the cost of their life.
Fr. Raniero Catalamessa

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Daily Thought For March 10, 2018

God Prunes Us Through Misfortunes

   God also prunes us through misfortune. When I was in lithuania shortly after the fall of communism, a man in his seventies came up to me during one of the ministry sessions at the conference we were conducting and asked for prayer. My translator and prayer partner told him we would be glad to pray for him. We asked him what he would like us to pray for. He began to tell us about his life. His father and his brother had both been shot and killed. Another brother had starved to death in prison. He had seen something horrible happen to one of his sisters. 
     Anyone of these things would have been a wrenching experience for someone, but all of them together seemed too much for one person to have to bear. We were sure that this man needed prayer so that he would be able to forgive and receive healing. So we asked him, "Would you like us to pray for healing and forgiveness?" 
     He looked up at us with a big smile and said, "Oh, no. I've forgiven. What I want to pray for is that my enemies will receive the same grace that I have, that they will know the life of Jesus Christ" 
     I was dumbfounded. In all humility, I could only say, "We'll pray with you. But then will you pray with us? There are a lot of things, much smaller, that we are holding on to, things that we haven't forgiven." 
     In spite of this man's terrible tragedy and misfortune, he was still able to accept God's pruning work in his life and bear abundant fruit like most people, he probably experienced bitterness, resentment, hatred, and a desire for revenge at various times. But he prayed for greater faith and for a special grace, and God gave it to him. God's light shone in the face of that man. 
     At that same conference I talked to two other men who had spent seventeen years in prison camps in Siberia before being released. For all those years they had to deal with freezing temperatures and backbreaking work. It was a mystery to me how they ever survived it Unfortunately, they returned with nothing but bitterness and a desire for revenge in their hearts. I could only pray, "God, give them the grace to forgive." I knew that if they failed to do so, their bitterness would eventually destroy them. 
     God prunes us through sin. God prunes us through weakness. And God prunes us through misfortune. Ask him to show you what he is doing in your life. Ask him to help you receive the life that he wants to give you through his pruning action so that his life might grow in you. 
     Mother Teresa regularly prayed a little prayer that Cardinal John Newman composed: "Shine in me, and so be in me, that all with whom I come into contact may know thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus." Frankly, the only thing worth living for is that those who see us might see Jesus. Pruning is one of the ways in which our life decreases and God's life increases. 
from Pray and Never Lose Heart - The Power of Intercession by Sr. Ann Shields pp.83-84

Friday, March 9, 2018

Daily Thought For March 9, 2018

The Instrument Of Our Salvation
     For the Christian, all adversities accepted with faith and love are called collectively the cross. We choose to see them and realistically deal with them as part of imitating the divine Master, who challenges us to take up the cross and follow him (Mk 8:34)....
     Trials occur in every life, and the cross comes to all. Beginners in the spiritual life usually spend much time and energy trying to pray the cross away. And often enough God in his mercy lifts the cross of suffering, as we see our Savior doing in the Gospel. But trusting that God will lift the cross is only beginning. The Christian making progress learns that in suffering and adversity there is much to be gained. Our Lord accepted his cross when his hour came, and that cross literally became the instrument of our salvation. 

from Quiet Moments with Benedict Groeschel

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Daily Thought For March 7, 2018

What is burnout? 
[Elijah] went on alone ... He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said.  (1 Kings 19:4)
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:2)
I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart. (Psalm 38:8)
 Burnout is the emotional exhaustion that comes when reality persistently falls short of our expectations. Elijah was convinced that his spiritual victory would transform Ahab's heart and change the spiritual climate of Israel, but instead of implementing reforms, Ahab threatened Elijah's life. Just at the moment of triumph, Elijah grew depressed and quit—classic signs of burnout, which can be a particular problem for Christians. God's power is limitless, but we still live in a fallen world. When our expectations go unmet, the result can be burnout. Learn to recognize burnout before it overwhelms you and renders you ineffective for serving God. 
Don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. (Galatians 6:9) 
The One Year Mini-Devotional For Men

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Daily Thought For March 6, 2018


How can I show kindness to others? 
The way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. 
Colossians 1: 1 0 
Do for others what you would like them to do for you. 
Matthew 7:12 
I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God's people. Philemon 1:7
 Kindness is not a single act but a lifestyle. It is the habit of being helpful, encouraging, sympathetic, and giving-what you do for others that says, "I'm thinking of you." Even in confrontation you can be kind. You practice kindness in all you do and say, always treating others as you would want to be treated. When you do that, you bring great refreshment to everyone you meet and you honor and please the Lord. Your kindness today may pass on to many generations and leave a lasting impression on more people than you realize. 
Your own soul is nourished when you are kind. PROVERBS 11:17 
from The One Year Mini For Men

Monday, March 5, 2018

Daily Thought For March 5, 2018

We Need The Gift of The Holy Spirit

If you wish to rise above a life of imperfection, you must, like the apostles, prepare yourself for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Remain watchful and persevere in humble and continual prayers.

When you are ready, my Spirit will come to you as he did to the apostles waiting in expectant faith in the upper room.

You will be given the courage to leave your safe house of prayer and fearlessly announce to the world what you have come to know of my truth and my love, not fearing pain and rejection, but seeing the glory of whatever comes to you.

I will give you a fire of charity strong enough to overcome your fears, your love of comfort, and all the temptations of the Devil.

Having the taste of my charity in your soul you can arise and give birth to it in your neighbors. For you cannot love me without loving your neighbor, nor can you love your neighbor and not love me.
St. Catherine of Sienna

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Daily Thought For March 4, 2018

Treat Everyone Well
Our Lord's repeated calls for us to be charitable at all times, and especially in his New Commandment must stimulate us to follow His lead by finding concrete ways of being of help to others, such as by making those at our side happy, realizing that we can never be too extravagant in the practice of this virtue. Most of the time the practice of charity will consist in little details, something as simple as a smile, a word of encouragement, a kind gesture ... In the eyes of God all of this is very pleasing and draws us closer to Him. In our prayer today we should also consider areas where we can easily lack charity if we are not careful: rash judgements, negative criticism, neglect of others due to self-centeredness, forgetfulness ... The Christian way of conduct is not the way of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but to do good always, even though occasionally such an attitude will not result in any human gain in this world - but at least we will have enriched our hearts. 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume Three p.341

Friday, March 2, 2018

Daily Thought For March 2, 2018

Producing Good Fruit


Matthew 21:31–43, 45–46


“The Kingdom of God will be …
given to a people that will produce its fruit.”

What a tragic parable Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel reading. This thinly veiled story describes the rejection and death of the Son. God did not allow his plan for the salvation of humanity to be thwarted, however. God’s Kingdom will be given to a people that will produce the fruit that God desires.

Through our baptism we have become members of this people. How can we produce the fruit that God desires? We find the key in the Scripture passage that Jesus quotes: “the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Jesus is this cornerstone. Our lives and our very beings must be grounded in him. This began at our baptism when we became members of Christ and his Body. Now we seek to grow in him, becoming more like Jesus every day.
Practically speaking, how can we do this? We begin by trying to know Christ better, through conversation with him and through thoughtful reading of the Scriptures, especially the Gospels. As we become more aware of Jesus’ teachings, we try to think as he does so that our beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes become similar to his.
Our days are filled with actions, words, and choices, and in them all we seek to imitate the virtues that Jesus practiced.

We fumble along, doing the best we can—and realize that we cannot resemble Christ by our own power alone. We need God’s help and grace. Jesus obtained this grace for us with his death and resurrection. Therefore we seek to grow in grace, especially through daily prayer, participating at Mass, and receiving the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation. The more Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives, the more we bear the fruit God desires. Let us rejoice, for “by the Lord this has been done.”


What an immeasurable gift, Lord, to be one of those persons to whom the Kingdom of God has been entrusted! How I long to bear good fruit! I recognize that it is only possible through your assistance and grace. Please help me, Jesus. Fill me with your grace so that I will be grounded in you today. May my thoughts, attitudes, desires, and behavior resemble yours. When I become discouraged, enable me to trust more wholeheartedly in you. When I begin to rely on my personal resources alone, please assist me to turn to you. Please, Jesus, be the cornerstone of my life. Amen.


Jesus is the cornerstone of my life.

Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 46–47). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Daily Thought For March 1, 2018

Helping Others
Helping a person in need is good in itself. But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may recieve your help but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If, on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver.
St. John Chrysostom